skip to content

Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey

Survey Results and Data

After the survey, staff and students at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the US Forest Service enter and check all of the data collected at the survey. The raw data are stored at the Center and is available for certain uses by scientists and land managers.

Search Past Survey Records

NNF Bird Census data from 1987 to 2005 are available to search using any combination of year, site, species to obtain Bird Survey records.


Results from the NNF Bird Survery can also be viewed on the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's eBird web site ( by logging in with the username "NNFBIRDS" and password "warblers." All data from 1987 to 2004 are entered under the year 2004.

Ecological Index of Forest Health Based on Breeding Birds

Like other organisms, wild birds cope with the cumulative effects of habitat degradation, environmental pollution, invasive species, climate change, and other (often un-measurable) threats to environmental quality. The regular presence of certain bird species, therefore, helps us assess the overall ecological health of an area. Erin E. Gnass Giese, along with collaborators Dr. Robert Howe, Dr. Amy Wolf, Nicholas Miller, and Nicholas Walton, used NNF Bird Census data and other datasets to develop a Index of Ecological Condition (IEC) for northern mesic forests. This easy-to-use, objective tool allows land managers to use their own census data to evaluate the quality of northern mesic forest habitats.

Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas

Data from the NNF bird survey were used in the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. Data collection for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas (WBBA) began the spring of 1995 and ended the summer of 2000. The culmination of this project, "Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Wisconsin", is available for purchase from the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. Data collection for a new atlas is scheduled to begin in 2015.


Scientists have used NNF Bird Survey data to better understand and conserve breeding birds and their habitats. Included here is a partial list of published reports, theses, and scholarly articles that include data from the survey.

M. D., Zlonis, E. J., Walton, N. G., Giese, E. E. G., & Lietz, S. M. 2016.Analysis of long-term forest bird monitoring data from national forests of the western Great Lakes Region. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-159. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 322 p., Abstract and PDF.

Howe, R. W. and L.J. Roberts.  2005.  Sixteen years of habitat-based bird monitoring in the Nicolet National Forest.  pp. 963-973. in C.J. Ralph and T.D. Rich (eds.), Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference, 2002 March 20-24. Asilomar, CA.  USDA Forest Service Gen Tech. Rep.  PSW-GTR-191. Pacific Southwest Research Station, Albany, CA. pp. 963-973.

Selected publications that use or reference Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey data (PDF)

If you would like access to the data or would like to add your paper or report to our list of publications, please contact The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at or 920-465-5032.